Why is Vulnerability Vital to Intimacy? [Video and Transcript]

by Reid on July 27, 2013

Young smiling coupleWhy is Vulnerability Vital to Intimacy? Get the deep, meaningful relationships by being authentic and transparent. Learn why and how you can share more of the REAL you!

Join TheIntimacyDojo.com’s Cathy Vartuli and moi as we share simple, practical steps you can take to bring the passion back into your life, and create warmth and love again.

Cathy: We’re here today talking about vulnerability. Hi, Reid.

Reid: Hi, Cathy.

Cathy: And vulnerability is really important for intimacy.

Reid: It is?

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: It is. It’s wicked important, super important.

Cathy: Without being able to be vulnerable, we can’t connect deeply with others and they won’t even know we’re there. They won’t be able to find what we’ve been hoping someone will find and want to connect with.

Reid: I would say that without being vulnerable, you’re not really being real with folks and you’re not role modeling that they can be real back to you and so the connection if you do create a connection is probably false or superficial.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: And that will cost you in the end.

Cathy: Yes it will. I grew up in that pattern but a lot of people go through their entire life pretending to be what they think the other person wants them to be.

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: And that’s not a good way to feel the warmth and connection that would really make life fulfilling.

Reid: No, because then the other person is pretending like trying to give you what they think you want to be and then everything is off skew and people’s assessments aren’t necessarily always correct.

Cathy: Right. It’s like being in a play where nobody knows what the other people’s roles are and you’re just kind of reading from a script and never being yourself.

Reid: Yeah.

Cathy: So I’m Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com here with Reid Mihalko from ReidAboutSex.com. Could you share a little bit about vulnerability and how we can be vulnerable when we’re scared?

Reid: Well okay, so those are two different things.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: One is the act of being vulnerable, which for me is more about being transparent because often not hiding things from people is scary and then sometimes being vulnerable doesn’t really occur as being scary either.

Cathy: Okay.

Reid: But most people associate vulnerability with somehow feeling not grounded or afraid that people won’t choose you or choose to stick around if they really knew what you were thinking or if you were really upfront and honest with them. But that kind of vulnerability and being that way for people is actually what I think is kind of the new currency in relationships these days because what you’re really talking about is being authentic.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: And promoting honesty with people because you’re being real with them, which builds trust and trust and vulnerability are two things that I think are more needed now than ever and more valued now than people are talking about yet.

Cathy: Yes. It was surprising to me when I first started being more open with people. I had always before shared what it was safe, what I thought they were able to handle and I was wondering why I wasn’t forming these connections, these friendships like I really wanted to. I never felt that there was a lot of energy moving between us. And when I started taking more risks and sharing things that I was afraid to or things that I thought they might not like, I was really surprised at the response. People were like wow and they’d open up and share stuff about themselves it was really beautiful.

Reid: Uh-hum. And did that leave you feeling more connected or less when people opened up and shared things with you?

Cathy: Oh, so much more connected. I made friends, I felt closer with the people that I had shared more authentically with in a couple of days than I had felt with people that I’ve known for ten years.

Reid: Yeah. Lying unless you are a liar does not make a lot of people feel more connected.

Cathy: Or hiding, people can really sense that when you’re trying to keep things tucked away.

Reid: Yeah. And so it really comes down to like what are you trying to protect by withholding reality or what’s real for you and is that worth costing, you know, deepening your relationships or having people trust you more. We get afraid of, oh my god, what are people going to think.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: But if you understand that everybody is thinking, oh my god, what people are going to think and that really most of us are thinking about what other people think way more than actually thinking about what we think about other people so which is a little bit meta. But basically what it means is get over yourself, people aren’t thinking about you as much as you actually think.

Cathy: And when you start opening up it gives them permission to share their hidden parts, the parts of them that might be wounded or scared and it creates a lot more ease and kind of a healing love between people. And you don’t have to start off by sharing your deepest, darkest secret with someone, you can kind of practice, take baby steps, see how they respond.

Reid: Yeah. I mean if you scare them away, then what it means is they probably couldn’t handle the real you and why do want to live your life with somebody half-assed. And then the other thing being that sometimes you scare people away initially but they come back later.

Cathy: Uh-hum. Yeah.

Reid: Because you’re the only one who’s actually being real with them and they learn to actually trust you and they want to be around you. Because, oh my god, you’re role modeling that it’s okay for them to open up and then when they open up, they’re like, “Oh my god that’s such a relief,” and you’re the person they feel relieved around.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: So that’s where I would put my money.

Cathy: Yeah. Give it a try. We’d love to hear what you think. Leave some comments below.

Reid: Yup.

Cathy: Thank you.

Reid: Bye.

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